Dojo is an immersive biofeedback game designed to help players recognize changes in their physiological and emotional condition and learn to regulate different emotions in a variety of scenarios over time. The game is geared towards young people who may be inclined to impulsively respond to stressful situations and who struggle to regulate their emotions. The game has historically served urban high school students, youth within or coming out of the juvenile justice system, and students with emotional management and anger management needs. The goal of Dojo is for players to learn to control their physiological reactions. Game interactions and challenges provide players practice and support for regulating their emotional reactions. By controlling these reactions, players experience success in the game, and become better prepared for success in future real-life challenges.
- Provides strategies and exercises that reinforce emotion-coping mechanisms.
- Creates an experiential association between players’ feelings, changes in their bodies, and their behaviors.
- Teaches skills that identify feelings and deal with strong emotions.
- Integrates biofeedback hardware that monitors changes in players’ physiological state.
- Offers three emotional challenges that address fear, frustration, and anger.
DOJO in School
The game takes place in a secret temple below a downtown subway system. The player experiences the game in the role of a young person who is going through a hard time and is reflecting on recent life trials and difficulties. In the hidden temple, the player encounters several dojo masters who guide players through various training exercises and game challenges. The gorgeous environment of the dojo fuses hip hop culture with the ancient traditional aesthetics of Japan and Egypt. Once inside the dojo, the player is presented with three paths associated with the emotions of fear, frustration, and anger. Each path houses a different dojo and dojo master who first instructs the player on emotional management techniques, and then presents the player with a challenge that tests the player’s newly acquired coping skills. Each dojo challenge is unique in both style and play mechanics: in the fear dojo the player must evade and defeat an angered spirit; in the frustration dojo the player navigates through a devious maze; in the anger dojo he/she is pitted against the dojo master in a hand slapping contest. To encourage the player’s management of emotions, each of these tasks becomes increasingly difficult if the player’s heart rate or skin conductance increases, and his/her emotions take over.
Emotional Feedback Monitoring and Control
GameDesk integrated the Wild Divine consumer IOM device and pulse feedback system into the game. The device measures both GSR (Skin Conductance) and heart rate. The device is about the size of an iPod, and the USB cord plugs directly into the computer. Three sensors fasten securely and comfortably to the fingers. The middle sensor measures heart rate, while the other two are used to determine skin conductance. Chizuru Media designed and developed a data importer and interpretive algorithm layer for the device that reads and translates the data for interactive and graphical use to support DOJO gameplay.